Armed attackers killed at least 33 people when they opened fire on vegetable farmers in Burkina Faso, the governor of the Boucle du Mouhoun region said on Saturday.
Much of the country, including parts of western Boucle du Mouhoun region, has been under a state of emergency since March as the government seeks to combat jihadi attacks.
“On the evening of Thursday, May 11 at around 5:00 pm (1700 GMT), the village of Youlou in the department of Cheriba, Mouhoun province suffered a cowardly and barbaric terrorist attack,” Governor Babo Pierre Bassinga said in a statement.
“The gunmen targeted peaceful civilians” who were farming along the river, he said, adding the “provisional death toll” was 33 people killed.
Local sources confirmed the presence of heavily armed assailants on motorcycles who fired indiscriminately.
The victims were buried on Friday.
In Cheriba, people also said three others were wounded in the attack and that the perpetrators had burned property before shooting.
The governor said that security in the area was being enhanced.
Burkina Faso, which saw two military coups in 2022, has been battling a jihadi insurgency that crossed from Mali in 2015.
Captain Ibrahim Traore, Burkina’s transitional president who staged the most recent coup on September 30, has set a goal of recapturing 40% of the country’s territory, which is controlled by jihadis affiliated with al-Qaida and the Islamic State group.
The violence has seen more than 10,000 killed — both civilians and military — according to the nongovernmental organizations and displaced an estimated 2 million people.